The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has offered Britain the chance to break free of Brussels after the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson accused the EU of working intentionally to “punish” the country for refusing to comply with the bloc’s rules.
Mrs von der Leyen spoke of a possible compromise in the battle over the level-playing field for competition regulations. She said Britain would not be required to be aligned with the EU’s standards in the future but a mechanism would be needed to address potential competitive advantages gained by either side.
She told newsmen, “We have repeatedly made clear to our UK partners that the principles of fair competition is a precondition to privileged access to the EU market. But this is not to say that we would require the UK to follow us every time we decide to raise our level of ambition.”
Mr Johnson is angry that the EU had brought new demands to the negotiation table not minding that time is running out… requesting for the bloc to have the power to impose “punishment” such as tariffs on the UK for breaking possible future regulations.
The Prime Minister said, “Clearly that is not the sensible way to proceed and it’s unlike any other free trade deal. It’s a way of keeping the UK kind of locked in the EU’s orbit, in their regulatory orbit.”
Speaking on the Prime Minister’s concerns, Ursula von der Leyen insisted the bloc is prepared to respect Britain as a sovereign state, saying, “they would remain free, sovereign, if you wish to decide what they want to do we would simply adapt the conditions for access to our market according to the decision of the UK and this would apply vice-versa.”
Mrs von der Leyen’s intervention comes after she warned EU27 leaders that a no-deal Brexit is now the most likely outcome from the trade talks, stating that the possibility of a no-deal is higher than of a deal.